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Number cruncher


of Brits surveyed are planning to holiday abroad in 2019


said resort costs for meals and drinks were more important than the value of sterling in their destination choice


said sterling’s strength or weakness was the main factor in choosing where to go

However, Post Office Travel Money, which claims to account for a quarter of UK currency transactions, said its sales for 2019 up to the Easter Bank Holiday show some of the biggest purchase increases have been to long-haul destinations where sterling is “significantly weaker” than a year ago.

This is explained, says the Post Office, by UK holidaymakers becoming less concerned about exchange rates than about costs in-destination. Some 77% of the 2,087 people surveyed said resort costs for meals, drinks and other tourist items were a more important factor in destination choice, compared with only 55% who felt sterling’s strength or weakness was the deciding factor.

The Post Office said the low cost of living in Bali and Japan helped explain a surge in sales of the Indonesian rupiah (up 9%) and Japanese yen (up 12%) in 2019 to date.

A 44% year-on-year growth for the Trinidad & Tobago dollar comes after Tobago rated alongside St Lucia as the cheapest Caribbean island in the Post Office’s Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer. Yet, in common with the Barbados dollar (7.1% stronger against sterling year-on-year), the Trinidad & Tobago dollar is worth more against the pound (up 3%) than last April. Despite the weaker pound, sales of Caribbean currencies are generally on the rise with significant year-on-year increases of 9% for the Jamaican and Barbados dollars.

The Holiday Money Index found the best long-haul offering for budget-conscious tourists was South Africa, with the rand the Post Office’s eighth bestselling currency. Sterling was worth 9.6% more than in April last year, giving visitors an extra £44 on a £500 rand purchase.

Latest trends for the British Pound

Sterling against Turkish lira

Sterling’s biggest year-on-year gain of 34.3% was against the Turkish lira, giving £128 extra on a purchase of £500.

Egyptian pound sales

Largest growth in currency sales has been for the Egyptian pound, with a 687% year-on-year rise.

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